The Los Angeles Clippers struggled in Game 1 against the Phoenix Suns with Kawaii Leonard out, as these teams try and overcome the loss of their respective superstars.

The Phoenix Suns put together an incredible second half to beat the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Now, the Clippers will look to return the favor in Game 2, while the Suns will look to take a 2-0 lead. The question coming into Game 2 is which team will overcome their missing key player the best.

Los Angeles Clippers Betting Preview: Clearly Missing Kawhi

With Kawhi Leonard being out for Game 1, the Los Angeles Clippers were unable to recreate the magic they mustered to get by the Utah Jazz in the second round. Terance Mann and Marcus Morris were not as effective as they were against Utah, which cost them the game and has shed some real light on the deficiencies of their roster with Leonard out of the lineup.

The other problem for the Clippers was the fact that they could not get a timely stop in Game 1. The Suns were able to get great looks at the basket from the mid-range and at the basket time and time again, which led to the Suns shooting 55% for the game. In Game 2, the Clippers will need to clamp down on the looks that the Suns are able to get at the free-throw line and in, to make them beat the Clippers from long distance.

Phoenix Suns Betting Preview: Using their Mismatches

Phoenix has a couple of key mismatches that they were able to use to their advantage against the Los Angeles Clippers, specifically in the form of Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton against the LA defense. Booker scored 40 points in the first game of this series, as he was able to get to the mid-range and get a ton of open jump shots the same way that Chris Paul normally would during a game.

And Ayton was incredibly efficient in Game 1, as he made 10 shots from the field en route to a 20-point performance. Ayton is such a different matchup for the Clippers than Rudy Gobert was with the Jazz. The Suns’ big man is a better offensive weapon, and the Suns regularly look to him to score in a way that the Jazz do not with Gobert.

That difference between Gobert and Ayton could be the difference in this series for the Suns. Ayton is shooting over 70% from the field for the postseason and is showing no signs of slowing down in the Western Conference Finals.

Los Angeles and Phoenix Odds and Lines

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Phoenix Suns as a 5-point favorite against the Los Angeles Clippers heading into this matchup.

Free Play of the Night

The depth of the Phoenix Suns is going to be the key in this game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Ty Lue’s team needs four players to score in big numbers, while any single player for the Suns can be the catalyst on a given night. Because of this, the Suns are the best bet for this game as a five-point favorite.

Keep up with your latest NBA news coverage and betting pick previews at NJ Sportsbook.

Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web.

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